Electric Supply of Tampa (ESI), the largest independent distributor of electrical supplies headquartered in Florida, has partnered with Supply Chain Equity Partners (SCEP), also of Tampa, to establish a super-regional platform for growth and expansion in electrical products distribution.
SCEP is the only 100% distribution-centric private equity fund in the U.S. SCEP’s investors include more than 40 distribution veterans, including eight former owners of Top 200 electrical wholesalers. ESI is SCEP’s 44th distribution investment since 2007.
George Adams, Jr., Electric Supply’s chairman of the board, said in the press release that he decided to partner with SCEP because of the company’s focus on the distribution industry. “I spent over a year searching for the best investment group to help Electric Supply accelerate its growth to be an even stronger partner to its customers and vendors. SCEP is unique in that they are the only private equity firm in the United States that invests exclusively in distribution companies, and the majority of their investors are former owners of distribution companies that include a number of electrical wholesalers. They have an almost two decades-long history of successfully partnering with distributors like Electric Supply and we are already planning a number of growth initiatives through opening new branch locations, hiring more salespeople and partnering with like-minded distributors.”
Electric Supply was founded in 1970 by George Adams Sr., and over the past 51 years its experienced team has focused on providing customers in Florida, as well as the Caribbean and Latin America, with consistent and flexible solutions, extensive technical and product support, a deep inventory for one-stop-shopping, and numerous logistical options. The company was ranked #63 on Electrical Wholesaling’s 2020 Top 200 ranking with 2019 sales of 161,980,000 and 160 employees.
The Adams family remains a major investor in Electric Supply and George Adams, Jr. will remain on the company’s board of directors. Harry Irwin, CEO, and the rest of the existing ESI management team will continue to lead ESI. “We are extremely excited about having more capital & resources to support greater growth which will also provide enhanced career opportunities for the existing Electric Supply team,” said Irwin in the press release. “Electric Supply is now uniquely positioned to capitalize on numerous growth opportunities focused on better serving our customers and vendors.”
Jim Miller, a partner with SCEP, said the concept for SCEP’s focus on distribution actually came from the electrical wholesaling industry during a discussion with Bob Reynolds, formerly Graybar Electric’s executive chairman at the 2005 Executive Summit of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW). Prior to founding SCEP, Miller and the principals of the fund worked in an advisory capacity for some of the biggest electrical wholesalers in the U.S. and abroad, including Warren Electric, Stuart C. Irby, Edson Electric, Leff Electric, Platt Electric, Melexa, Heritage/OneSource, Calvert Wire & Cable, Houston Wire & Cable, Roden Electric and Western Extralite.